Though K-State rushed only for 1-yard, compared to WVU’s 123-yards they beat WVU 26 = 20. Maybe it wasn’t just Clint Trickett that was suffering from concussion on this night.
For some time I’ve been complaining about the lack of play creativity on WVU’s offense. A few weeks back I was at a high school play-off game, and the wide receiver was running an inside slant, he then did a pivot back toward the sideline.
This separated the wide receiver from the defender and after only a step or two toward the sideline his quarterback hit him for a first down, and then the wide receiver turned it up field for additional yards. I have yet to see a WVU receiver run this type of route.
K-State to get separation from WVU’s defenders ran a stop-and-go route on a post. The K-State receiver got good separation and picked up many additional yards. When did you last see a WVU receiver run a stop-and-go route? Only once this season have I seen a WVU receiver run a comeback route, and I’ve never seen a WVU receiver run a stop-and-go.
What I see is a lack of creativity with WVU’s passing game. If you watch WVU’s passing routes they are all standard routes with no deviation. A post route is a true post route, where the receiver runs as fast as he can down the field, and if he doesn’t catch the ball, we hope the defender gets called for pass interference. The same goes for the slant, hook and curl routes. It is almost like WVU is depending on passing interference calls to advance the ball.
After the loss to K-State the BOO-BIRDs were out again calling for heads of Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and Special Teams Coach Joe DeForest. I have no issue with Coach DeForest, for punter Nick O’Toole didn’t kick the ball to the correct side of the field, this is on O’Toole and not DeForest.
I can’t fault DeForest because Vernon Davis didn’t have the good sense to get away from a punted ball. Vernon has been taught to get away from this ball since he started playing football. Vernon knew better! O’Toole knew better and this isn’t the first time O’Toole has made this mistake which has cost WVU.
Also, I haven’t seen WVU throw a low pass to where only a WVU receiver could catch it, this entire season. When WVU had Geno and Tavon this was common. We all saw Tavon catch passes below his knees and make plays. Also, with Tavon and Geno, Holgorsen found creative ways to get Tavon the ball. I have yet to see a creative offensive play this season.
This tells me that Holgorsen doesn’t have the faith in this offense to execute creative plays, for if he did have faith, then we’d see comeback routes, misdirection’s, and stop-and-go routes.
This lack of confidence also is illustrated in Holgorsen not utilizing his tight ends Cody Clay and Elijah Wellman more. This within itself shows his lack of confidence in them to handle the ball and make plays.
Perhaps Holgorsen’s lack of faith in his offense comes from the fact that his offense fails to execute in the red-zone, or is it he has more faith in Josh Lambert’s leg than he does his offense, or perhaps it’s both, and this is why he calls the plays he does in the red-zone. Look at the red-zone fumbles and the inability of the receivers to get open once in the red-zone. Lambert’s leg and accuracy may be the better option.
Not having misdirection, comeback, and stop-and-go plays in your arsenal of offensive plays makes it harder for your defense to recognize and defend them. The WVU defense got burned by K-State on a stop-and-go route, for they could identify it, and they failed to react properly to it, and this is why K-State had such a big gain after the catch.
Since Geno, Tavon and Stedman left WVU, the WVU offense lacked excitement. It has advanced the ball just about as much on pass interference calls as it has any other way. With most of the pass interference calls coming against defenders covering WVU receiver Kevin White.
In one game this year, WVU’s offense picked up 90 yards in one game due to 6 pass interference calls being made against defenders covering Kevin White. Why not run some creative routes to get Kevin White open, so he can score instead of using deep balls to White to get pass interference calls. If high school teams can successfully run stop-and-go, misdirection, and comeback routes, then surely WVU can run them.
This lack of creativity is on Holgorsen, but before criticizing him too much, he may not have the personnel to effectively execute these plays. Maybe he has tried them in practice and they were a disaster, I don’t know. No matter how you look at it, WVU is still years away from having an offense that can be efficient in the red-zone. And while I see improvement, mostly with the defense and special teams, I’m just not sure the offense is on the right path, and I still believe the offense lacks the talent it needs to be consistent winner in the Big XII.
A coach can teach all day, but it’s the player that has to execute. Players have to be mentally, not just physically tough. And right now, I’m not seeing an offense that has the mental fortitude to do what it takes to win, and to cut out the mental mistakes.
When I see receivers quit on routes, and running backs stop on runs, I have to wonder about the mental toughness of these players. If these players have any intention at playing at the next level they have to get their heads out of their butts, and play to win. No one wants a quitter on their team.
I truly expect Iowa State to beat WVU by 7 or more next week, the Iowa State defense and offense will come to play, and if WVU’s offense keeps quitting on the plays, then the loss is on them. My advice to Holgorsen is to being to get creative with his offense. He has got to give these guys a chance, even if they fail.
There is a saying that states the following:
“There are 3 types of people in the world”
- Those who wonder what happened
- Those who watch things happen
- And those who make things happen
We all know that WVU’s offense is not No. 3 in this list.